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Mind/Body Connection - Mind/Body Medicine, Part 1

by Michael Braunstein

 
  You just plain couldn’t consciously think fast enough to consciously instruct the hundreds of tasks required for your body to walk, increase heart rate as you moved uphill, slow breathing as you stopped, tell each muscle how to move and how far etc., etc. While at the same time digesting your lunch! Your subconscious is by far the most powerful part of your mind. It’s time you learn how to use it!

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THE MIND / BODY CONNECTION IN HEALING: BEYOND THE FRONTIER
PART ONE OF THREE

“The bad news is: It’s all in your mind;
The good news is: It’s all in your mind!”
- Anon.

In 1989, Bantam published a book written by Deepak Chopra, M.D. entitled Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine. Now this was not the first book ever written to explore the subject. A seminal work by Dr. Kenneth Pelletier, Mind as Healer, Mind as Slayer, was published in 1977. For that matter, mind/body medicine is at the core of ancient texts dating back to the Bible, the Vedas, and Chinese medicine. But in 1995, Chopra’s book about the nearly-forgotten role of the mind in healing spent two years at the top of best seller lists. America was ready to remember.
So it’s not news that the mind has an innate connection with healing. What we can do is look at how simple it is and how available it is to all of us.
First let’s simplify the way we look at the mind. The science of psychology, like most Western science, gets pretty convoluted. It defines all sorts of different parts of the mind. The problem with that is, the average intelligent person has trouble making it practical and applicable. (I have yet to figure out whether a thought I had came from the id or from the superego or wherever! Know what I mean? Did my college psych professor really think it mattered?) The simpler I keep it the better.
And a simple idea is to consider just two parts to the mind: the conscious and subconscious. They’re like two different stages of awareness, really. Everything in our awareness has to be run by mind since thought precedes form as cause and effect. I can identify that the conscious part of the mind handles that which I am immediately aware of and the subconscious takes care of the rest. The conscious mind is really good at tasks like, well, adding numbers, alphabetizing, analyzing data and a limited amount of things like that. The subconscious literally does everything else. And that’s a lot of “else!” It runs our body functions like heart rate, immune system, rebuilding, digestion, focusing eyes, respiration, walking, forming words in our mouth, scratching, etc. You name it! The subconscious is capable of amazing tasks and effects. No wonder the subconscious is sometimes called the “other 90% of the mind.” Heck, it’s probably more like the other 99.9% of the mind!

In the Zone. Consider its power for a moment. Think of Michael Jordan taking a jump shot. Could he consciously “think” about it? Here’s MJ thinking about a jump shot: “Let’s see, the basket is 23 feet away, mmm... 10 feet off the floor. This ball weighs 1.5 pounds. If I elevate to 34.4 inches to clear the 6’9” opponent and propel this sphere at .7 ft/ms with an arc of 37°, it should arrive at the locus within the radius of the annular iron rim.” Yeah, right, Mike! His conscious mind could not do it! If the conscious, analytical mind could pull off 23’ jumpshots, we would have physics majors playing round ball, not athletes! In fact, athletes regularly use the word unconscious to describe a particularly successful performance. “I was unconscious out there!” they often say. Or describe the shift in awareness as being “in the zone.”
The amazing, incredible, physics-defying feats of Michael Jordan are done by his subconscious, non-analytical mind! And, the amazing, incredible, physics-defying feats you do are done by your subconscious, non-analytical mind! Like walking, like focusing your eyes, like breathing. You just plain couldn’t consciously think fast enough to consciously instruct the hundreds of tasks required for your body to walk, increase heart rate as you moved uphill, slow breathing as you stopped, tell each muscle how to move and how far etc., etc. While at the same time digesting your lunch! Your subconscious is by far the most powerful part of your mind. It’s time you learn how to use it!

Think less, know more. In the case of the subconscious mind, or as A Course in Miracles calls the "higher mind", less is more. The harder you try to do something the subconscious is really good at, the less likely you succeed. The more effort you consciously expend at remembering, say, a person’s name, the less likely you will be to remember it. It’s when you relax, maybe in the middle of doing something else or whatever, and the name just pops into your mind, effortlessly. Because the conscious mind “got out of the way,” the subconscious performed easily. To use this more powerful subconscious mind then, the first order of business is to get the busy-ness out of the mind; to quiet the chattering analytical mind and allow the subconscious to do its perfect work.

Continue reading. For Part Two, click here.


Be well.

 




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Michael Braunstein is Executive Director of Heartland Healing and certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners in clinical hypnotherapy. He graduated from the Los Angeles Hypnotism Training Institute and was an instructor at the UCLA Extension University for 11 years.

Heartland Healing is devoted to the examination of various alternative forms of healing. It is provided as a source of information and not as medical advice. It is not meant as an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or by Heartland Healing Center, Inc.


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